0 comment Sunday, April 27, 2014 | admin
Some of you may know her as Simon, and some of you probably know her as that ol' sunnuvagun, but no matter what name or stolen identity she may go by, Ripley McCoy, the resident writer and cinemaniac of the blog Four Of Them has one of the most distinctive voices in the blogosphere. She's a writer whose trademark sense of biting humor is only enhanced by her intense passion for all that is film.
Ms. McCoy's short but always sweet notes and thoughts on the movies she watches are light on the eyes, good for the funny bone, and stimulating for the skull meat. Go on to her place and see what she has to say about the flickers for herself. But not before you get to hear what the girl has to share in this most awesome installment of Demented Dialogues.
First and foremost, thanks for stopping by From Beyond Depraved to have a little Demented Dialogues session with us.
Q: Let�s get to the meat of it right off the bat�what does horror mean to you? Do you think this meaning applies to society as a whole?
A: Horror, I think, means (technically) a threat against the established order of things. It's why a lot of movies use death as shorthand for horror; being dead is as anti-conformist as you can get.
Q: You�re obviously a film fanatic and have a wide, eclectic taste. What began your passion for cinema?
A: I saw a list somewhere about the most notorious films of all time, I forget where, but the head of it was August Underground's Mordum. And then, of course, Wikipedia has way too many links.
Q: Do you find it more pleasurable to go to a theater or stay at home when watching a movie?
A: If the theatres abandoned, and I can sit way up front (because fuck the back row, who decided those were the best seats?), I prefer there.
Q: What were your first delvings into the genre like?
A: A lot of pausing, and lot of screaming at Youtube for buffering every five minutes.
Q: It sounds like you witnessed some pretty savage cinema at a tender young age. Do you think you were desensitized by what you had seen? What did you think about it at the time?
A: I like to think I'm desensitized, but if I saw a real dead body, I'd probably lose it. I never really think of myself as desensitized to movie violence until we're watching a movie, Romeo + Juliet or something, and all the girls in the class start gasping and screaming 'Oh my god, I can't watch this' when Mercutio gets killed.
At the time, I thought torture porn and Gorn (same difference, I guess) was as bad as you could get in a movie, violence without any emotional or mental justification.
Q: What is it about Asian cinema that makes it so unique in the horror genre and cinema as a whole?
A: I really don't know. I just started out watching movies that looked interesting, and didn't notice they were all from South Korea until my fifth Park Chan-wook film. Probably, because that society (not that I'd know, being a white suburban Jew who's never been away from the East coast) has been so traditional and torn (war and otherwise) and confined that when they finally let out with some modernized cinema, they let out hard. Playing on those traditions, you end up with bizarre Ye Olde opera-type things with cell phones. It's nothing an American can easily ape.
Q: Oh, those crazy Italians! What film(s) in your mind best exemplifies that surreal style we have all come to know and love from spooky spaghetti cinema?
A: Suspiria. Duh.
Q: Do you see exploitation as mere shock fodder, stimulus for intellectual discourse on social/psychological ties, or a bit of both?
A: A bit of both, but it always depends on the filmmaker. Cannibal Holocaust, for example, had some interesting ideas behind it, about what we classify as savage, but I think Deodato (we'll, of course, need some damn spell check) went about it wrong, reveling in the violence he was supposed to be criticizing.
Q: Do you feel that the genre is currently in a rut (here in the U.S. and elsewhere)? If so, what do you think should be done to revitalize it?
A: It's in a rut for mainstream theatres. Overseas and indie (House of the Devil) are going pretty strong. And nothing can really be done about it, because one could always argue that studios just put out films that people want to see. Though they're probably mistaking wanting to see something with going to see whatever's playing. If anything, we must mobilize the snobs and hipsters, rile them up, get them at their douche-iest, and sick them on an unsuspecting public.
Q: Your love is not strictly contained to ghosts and goblins. You watch many movies of varying ilk and background. Do you have a favorite genre at all or do you simply love movies period?
A: I don't have a favorite, but I'll watch anything that isn't a crime thriller. I fucking hate those. I get it, you're a tough guy who wants to get out of them game, but you just can't, you got that one last job, boo fucking hoo, stop moping demurely, that tree isn't going to solve your problems if it loses the staring contest. Goddamn.
Q: What do you personally seek out in a film for enjoyment? That is, what are some of the recurring elements in a movie that tickle your fancy?
A: Batshit nuns, lovely sets, not-terrible acting, homeless vagrancy, horror-comedy, weird creativity, David Bowie.
Q: What character from the silver screen would say best exemplifies your personality?
A: Probably someone from a movie I haven't seen. I'm, like, complicated and junk.
Q: Are you drawn more towards classic or modern cinema?
A: Classic horror, modern everything else.
Q: Who are some of your favorite creative forces working in film (director, actor/actress, writer, etc.)?
A: Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, David Bowie (he's the distant uncle I hope I have), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (despite what may be traces of hipster douchebaggery), Lauren Bacall, Quentin Tarantino, Dario Argento if he weren't giving me a headache with this post-Phantom of the Opera shit, Greta Gerwig, Donald Glover, Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem (any author who's writing screenplays, basically), Tommy Wiseau (there's a difference between Ed Wood ragtag-bunch-of-misfits bad movies, let-the-debauchery-continue Richard O'Brian bad movies, and this guy's bad movies), and...Rain. Stupid, sexy Rain.
(inhale) Mila Kunis, the lady who made Xiaolin Showdown, Stephen Fry, any and all offspring of Douglas Adams, the cast of Misfits, the cast of Community, Cracked.com (I heard they're writing a screenplay or something), TV Tropes and they're immense influence on all things meta, the future John Dies at the End movie, and David Lynch, that crazy motherfucker.
Q: Speaking of directors, in your mind, what is it that makes a unique and truly effective filmmaker?
A: A guy who spent ten years in a mental asylum on false charges, escaped by tricking the guard into punching himself unconscious, stole an ambulance full of international spies, had them pool their money so he could buy some burgers, went home, kissed his wife, and sat down for some Czech Alice in Wonderland adaptations.
Q: Are you as big into literature as you are with film? If so, what are some of your favorite pieces of fiction or non-fiction?
A: I read a lot, yeah. I don't really prefer anything (no romances and no airport thrillers and no celebrity memoirs. Even I have standards), but right now I'm reading The Tin Drum, if that says anything.
Q: Going along those same lines, what has been one of the better book-to-film adaptations you�ve seen during your cinephile years?
A: The Da Vinci Code, as it improved, however slightly, on the book.
Q: Is there one sinister story that you believe could never be properly committed to celluloid?
A: House of Leaves. But then, they said that about all the others...
Q: Have any television obsessions?
A: I dig Community with a passion, and I quite like Ugly Americans and Futurama (we brought it back WOOT!)
Q: What other weird, lurid, decadent, or subversive areas of culture do you also revel in?
A: The whole rent boy thing. Damn you, Mysterious Skin...
Q: Have you ever aspired to make your own films?
A: Oh, sure, but it's of all the entertainment mediums, it's the most likely to lose its purpose, integrity, and/or vision. Also, working with actors sounds like a bitch.
Q: When did you decide that you were going to blog about your intense passion for film?
A: When my YA-book blogging sister insisted I create an account so she could reach 200 followers, then insisted I create a film blog so she doesn't have to listen to my humble rambling anymore.
Q: Where did the name Four of Them come from exactly?
A: We flipped through The Book Thief until we found a proper-sounding phrase. Now, every time I find the phrase in another book (it's not terribly uncommon), I'm just kind of like "Yo!"
Q: Have you succeeded in achieving the goals you originally set out with for Four of Them?
A: I really had no goals, so yes.
I hope you brought your waffles along, cause we�re about to get sticky. Did that make any sense? I have no idea! So on with the weirdo questions!
That made more sense than anything I've heard in my life.
Q: It�s doubtless in your years of film viewing that you�ve stumbled across some wretched work. What has been some of the most "eye-bleeding-bad" movies you�ve seen? Do you have any guilty pleasures for them?
A: Million Dollar Baby. Seriously, fuck that shit. Also, Homecoming. But for the most part, I avoid movies I think I won't like.
Q: Has there ever been a movie that has forced you to feel uncomfortable in the region of your pants?
A: ...I'm not sure...
Q: Why do all of the Dick Tracy villains have such funny faces?
A: Because whenever Dick Tracy comes down the street, their balls shrivel up and it's quite a shock.
Q: There haven�t been any movies about mutant killer hair dryers yet (yes, they must be mutant AND killer). Why is this?
A: Because the world isn't ready.
Q: Your airplane ticket to Paris has been replaced with a one-way trip to Sealand*, leaving you stranded amongst the flippered citizens of the country. What is the one film you hope to find upon opening your luggage?
A: But Sealand does exist!** It's a dock out by Switzerland that this one dude claimed was a country because during WWII, Germany thought enough of it to try and invade it, and nobody's gonna argue with attempted World Domination, are they?
The Seventh Seal. Get them nice and existential before I demand use to the Royal Toilet.
*Disclaimer: Let it be known that no such place exists. The country of Sealand is entirely fictional and the product of starved imaginations. Any resemblance to a real country, living or dead, would only be completely freaking awesome.
**Disclaimer-Disclaimer: Upon a quick Google search, it was discovered that Sealand is in fact an actual principality. Current status for this topic: completely freaking awesome.
Q: Due to a radioactive meteor colliding with the earth, the Hallmark Channel has decided to film a cinematic biography on your life. Who are the actors that are cast in the roles of you, your best friend, your parents, and your evil arch nemesis?
A: I want Morgan Freeman to play me. I think that'd be best. And Nikola Tesla would be my ally. And my arch nemesis would be a black hole. I like a challenge.
Q: Mustaches: discuss.
A: I bet I could grow one faster and more luxurious than you.
Q: Do you think that a clove of garlic is really gonna keep the vampires from biting?
A: Only if they're opening a pizzeria and trying to cut costs so they can put in a TV. For the kids.
Q: Argento: what the hell happened?
A: Something ungodly. But there's still time. To the Batcave!
Q: William Shakespeare rises from the grave, slaps you in the face with a glove, and challenges you to a duel. What next?
A: Ask him if Ariel was supposed to be a boy or a girl. Then tag in Teddy and Nikola's child, the only man suited for the job.
Q: If you had to choose, what giant monster would you like to see destroy your fair city?
Q: Is it safe?
A: Only for them.
Q: Do you have any last words for our readers regarding the horror genre or other related insanity?
A: Remember, kids: drugs are the real horror.
Thanks again to Ripley for joining us for this great interview. Like I said, take a stroll down on to Four Of Them if you haven't already. I'm sure you'll definitely like what you see, especially if your eyes hunger for the images on the silver screen. If you're interested in having a Demented Dialogues session with us, just give us a ring at joemonster25 [at] yahoo [dot] com! And in the meantime remember: it's only a movie!